“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I’m often reminded by God that our choice in homeschooling our children was the best thing we can do for them in this season. There are some days where I don’t think I am capable or even qualified enough to teach them. But then again, I’m reminded… why not me?!? The bible clearly states, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) It is my God-given duty to train up my children in Him in every aspect of their youth so now I have to walk it out. Those days when I feel inadequate or when I’m told that my children’s social status is at risk or when I hear family talk about their children being in “Real school” I can turn to Him and encourage myself in knowing that I got this because He’s got me!
If you know my family, you know we are a very audacious family. We try to beat our own standards and have high regard in knowing that with God all things are possible. These past few months (nearly a year) of homeschooling, I can say… I still don’t have all the answers! 🙂 I can’t give you sound advice neither can I tell you which curriculum is best for your child… all I can tell you is to turn to Jesus and He’ll reveal some things to you that will encourage you and help your child to succeed.
March will be our first full year of homeschooling. If you are not familiar with our reason to homeschool, check out this post, When Homeschooling Became Our Only Option .
With that being said, I did learn a few things about homeschooling in our year of trial and error…
- Resources– Never would I have imagined so many mothers dealing with the ups and downs of teaching their children at home. Some for medical reasons, some religious and others just wanting to pull their child from public school. I am apart of at least a dozen of Homeschool related Facebook groups and each one of them carry about 10k moms with questions, suggestions and plenty of free resources that I use everyday! Out of all my children, I am “officially” teaching my youngest to read. Now, don’t get me wrong, I had a big influence on my children’s literacy, but this time around, it’s all me and that is a very encouraging thing. I’ve also researched so many success stories about children who have been homeschooled and the percentage associated to that is amazing!! Homeschoolers typically rate 37 percentage points higher than public school students. That is also very encouraging for this very reason…. The amount of unadulterated resources available to homeschool parents and children are limitless. Stay tuned for resources I found to be very useful for our family!
- Academics– During our first year of homeschooling, I’ve noticed my children’s strengths and weaknesses academically. I can say I am very blessed in this area because my children are self-sufficient and can work through difficult areas (at times) and master topics in subjects faster than what they would have in public school. I am still trying to find a balance for our study schedules but I am more focused on my children’s struggle subject and strong subject and those subjects they can learn in their free time.
- Time Management or the lack thereof– Speaking of time, I have yet to have a successful day LOL I know you’re saying in the back of your mind, “But she has all day with her kids to do whatever.” True, but the day seems to slip away and catch us completely off guard. Mind you, we still have a homestead to tend to as well as everything else we find our hands in. What I have learned is that everything I make a priority, is not. With all the resources freely given to me, I need to step back and reevaluate my life and know that I don’t have to do everything in a day’s time because the offer or link is effective for one day only! 🙂
- Socialization Skills– Never have I heard such ridiculousness! Luckily no one told me this in person, because my children don’t have an issues in this area… if anything, they talk too much! LOL Honestly, seeing how children behave in stores and in other group settings, I am happy my children aren’t “social”. I like the idea of teaching my children modesty and model behavior and having their innocence in tact. Witnessing what some 11 year old children talk about and do, I am grateful to have mine separate from such influence. The bible states, “bad company corrupts good character” and I would not want to put my children in a bad situation for the sake of socializing. Now, I am not dismissing the need of socialization, but using discretion when possible. My children are indeed social and have opportunities to hang out with friends but they are all aware of influence and, even at their young age, recognize wholesome conversation to eschew the contrary.
- God and Family– I am grateful for the opportunity to explore and study God’s Word throughout the week. My children ask questions and dig deeper in God in ways I would have never experienced if they were in public education. Our family time is spent in God’s Word and taking care of our animals and home. One thing I can say that can be a strain with my children being home all day is their appetite… like physical appetite! THESE KIDS CAN EAT!! So I have also used the time to teach them simple home economics (cooking and cleaning after themselves) and stewardship.
This list is the condensed version of my lessons learned during our first year but it is important to know that we are all learning and growing together and individually. I am enjoying every struggle and joy homeschooling has brought to our family. I truly believed this is my ministry and when God told me to “Be The Change” three years ago still ring in my ear and it encourages me. My views on homeschooling are completely different from a year ago. It is no longer about out-doing public education but about their spiritual and academic growth while teaching them responsibility and stewardship and holding on to their innocence a little while longer.